1000-Word Story Competition

Our latest competition is to write a 1000-word story. It has been inspired by the A Thousand Word Photos charity project that Amanda Saint wrote a story for, The Six O’Clock Watch, and which actor and voice artist, Holly Joyce, did a professional audio recording of. You can listen to it here.

Read the guest blog from Holly to find out what makes a story great for recording.

Competition Details

Write a 1000-word story inspired by the photo prompt below. Stories must be exactly 1000 words and the title is not included in this.

  • First Prize: A professional recording of your winning story by Holly Joyce. (Value £150)
  • Second Prize: A year’s Gold Author Membership (Value £100)
  • Third Prize: A year’s Bronze Flash Membership (Value £50)

Deadline: 4th October 2020 – EXTENDED TO 18TH OCTOBER

Entry fee:

  • £10 entry only
  • £65 entry with detailed feedback on your story included

Photo prompt:

Judge: Amanda Saint

Amanda started Retreat West in 2012 and expanded in 2017 to include Retreat West Books, which was named Most Innovative Publisher at the 2020 Saboteur Awards.

Her debut novel, As If I Were A River, was longlisted for the Guardian Not The Booker Prize, a NetGalley Top 10 Book of the Month and a Book Magnet Blog Top 20 Book of 2016. Her second novel, Remember Tomorrow, published in March 2019 to critical acclaim. 

Amanda’s stories have been widely published; longlisted in the Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition, Fish Flash Fiction Prize, and Ink Tears Short Story Prize; longlisted and shortlisted for the Flash 500; and won the Editor’s Choice Prize at 101 Words. Her collection, Flashes of Colour, is publishing in 2021, and she is now working on a novella-in-flash. 


  • Submit your 1000-word story through Submittable using the button below by 23.59 GMT on 4th October 2020.
  • We will use MS Word to do the word count. Hyphenated words count as one.
  • International entries are welcome but stories must be written in English and can be on any theme and subject (except children’s fiction). Please no racism, sexism, religious intolerance, or any kind of hate.
  • Email entries are not accepted.
  • Please use 12pt font and double spacing.
  • Name the document you upload with your story title.
  • Do not include your name on or in the document you upload or in the title of your entry as it is judged anonymously – instead submit your contact details and short bio separately in the cover note section in Submittable as we cannot see this until we have chosen the shortlist. Any entries that have the author’s name on them will be automatically disqualified.
  • You can enter as many times as you like but each entry must be made separately and the entry fee paid each time.
  • Winners will be announced in December 2020.
  • The judge’s decision is final.
  • There are no alternative prizes.